Review: Mission: Impossible 3

Ethan Hunt is a terrible spy.

Disregard the fact that he looks exactly - exactly - like Hollywood movie star Tom Cruise, meaning everybody recognises him everywhere he goes. Pretend there's no such person as Tom Cruise. Even given this, don't you just love spy movies where there're loads of gunfights and smashing through windows and stuff like that? Don't you love it, in the original series of Mission Impossible, when they blow stuff up with rocket launchers?

ME NEITHER.

Alright. This movie is NOT Mission: Impossible in anything but name. I'll tell you what it is though: one stonking good episode of Alias. Let's see: directed by J. J. Abrams. Fleetingly features Greg Grunberg. Stars a highly-trained black ops CIA agent who has difficult juggling his/her suburban social life with his/her missions, and keeping secrets from his/her loved one(s). Plotline is constructed almost entirely from MacGuffins (there are only about five minutes of real plot in the whole movie, five deeply confusing minutes, but don't worry, something explodes pretty soon afterwards). Includes Simon Pegg (Kevin Weismann) as Marshall Flinkman (some guy I don't remember the name of) (great character though, can't fault it) talking secretly on the phone to the agent and helping out of scrapes he really shouldn't. Fluorescent lights and bustling ops centres and guns and explosions and abseiling down buildings. It's right up there in the top ten of Alias episodes, although I miss the overarching storyline that series had but this movie obviously could not have, being only two hours in length.

What am I saying?

The IMF operations - they pull off three or four in the movie, I kind of lost count - are too straightforward. Just generic wandering around and blasting through walls and using disguises - nothing that genuinely made me say "wow, that was clever of them". There's Philip Seymour Hoffman as a depressingly unthreatening bad guy. There are no random Scientology references, although there is one moment when Ethan's nearly out of it and I was thinking "he's totally gonna use his Scientology powers right now", but he doesn't. You'll know it when you see it. Oh, and apparently the writers don't know the difference between a fulcrum and a pendulum.

That fulcrum/pendulum thing kind of seals it. Two stars out of five. Wait for this movie to appear on television, then watch it - once - and do not bother to record it. Generic, bud. Generic.

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